MV Ortelius Review and Specifications
Specifications of MV Ortelius
|Year built||1989 / Age : 31|
|Builder||Stocznia Gdynia SA (Gdansk, Poland)|
|Class||ice-strengthened expedition ship|
|Speed||14 kn / 26 kph / 16 mph|
|Length (LOA)||91 m / 299 ft|
|Beam (width)||17 m / 56 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||4575 gt|
|Passengers||100 - 116|
|Decks with cabins||4|
|Former names||Marina Svetaeva|
Current position of MV Ortelius
Review of MV Ortelius
MV Ortelius cruise ship is an ice-strengthened polar expedition vessel. It is part of the Oceanwide Expeditions fleet - together with the newbuilds Janssonius (2021) and Hondius (2019), Plancius and the polar sailing ships Noorderlicht and Rembrandt van Rijn. The vessel was launched in 1989 under the name "Marina Svetaeva". Initially, it served as a special purpose ship for the Russian Academy of Sciences.
History - construction and ownership
Specializing in passenger shipping and navigation in icy waters, with the newbuilds Janssonius and Hondius the headquartered in Vlissingen Netherlands cruise company Oceanwide Expeditions grew not only as fleet/capacity but also as brand popularity and trust.
Founded in 1993, Oceanwide Expeditions (shipowner) is one of the industry's small cruise lines offering regularly-scheduled and flexible polar cruise tours providing its customers with the opportunity to contact with Arctic-Antarctica's wildlife, unique landscapes, nautically important polar regions and historical sites. Oceanwide Expeditions has year-round planned itineraries - during summer (April through September) in the Arctic and during winter (October through March) in Antarctica. Most Oceanwide-organized tours are in sea-only accessible areas, usually without any land/port infrastructure. In most of these locations, the cruise ship anchors near the coast and all passengers are tendered (via Zodiac Milpro boats) to the landing sites. Each boat is crewed and guided by a dedicated expedition team.
Oceanwide Expeditions supports renown organizations dedicated to wildlife preservation and sustainable environmental development projects in Earth's polar regions. Among these organizations are AECO (Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators - cruise line organization working mainly in Europe's Arctic / Iceland, Greenland, Svalbard Norway), IAATO (International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators, 1991-founded association of 100+ members/companies) and BirdLife International (1922-founded global organizations dedicated to the conservation of birds and their habitats).
Like all the other fleet mates, Ortelius is equipped with rigid-hulled zodiacs (inflatable boats) used for landings (ship-to-shore passenger transportation) in remote areas. Additionally, Ortelius has a helipad and can carry 2 helicopters onboard.
The Ortelius ship operated in the Russian Far East as a cargo supply and passenger's vessel, as well as a supply and accommodation ship to oil fields located in the Russian Arctic (northern Pacific Ocean) territories. As of December 2007, the ship was chartered by the Sydney-based company Aurora Expeditions and operated as "cruise ship" in the Antarctica and Arctic regions. In 2011, the ship was acquired by the based in Vlissingen (Netherlands) Dutch company Oceanwide Expeditions. It was then renamed to Ortelius.
On January 16, 2014, mv Ortelius had a scheduled 9-night Antarctic Peninsula cruise. All passengers were on board, but the ship's anchor system broke down and the itinerary was cancelled. After the technical issue was solved, Ortelius continued resumed its Antarctic cruise program. A highlight of the 2014 season was the successful Snow Hill Island expedition where passengers were transported by helicopter to the island's emperor penguins colony.
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